Skip to comments.Air Force women help save convoy
Posted on 02/17/2006 3:26:20 PM PST by SandRat
2/17/2006 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- The lives of four women and their convoy team changed forever Dec. 5.
They were ambushed that night. Insurgents from a village outside of Balad Air Base, Iraq, fired on the convoy, injuring two as they drove back to the base.
Airman First Class Nicole OHara, a convoy gunner deployed from Langley Air Force Base, Va., said it was just a normal convoy when the day started.
Coming back to the base was when things got hairy. Airman OHara was manning her 50-caliber weapon.
I saw all these tracers and I saw tracers coming back at us. I turned my turret more to the left and started laying down suppressive fire so the rest of us and the convoy could get out of the kill zone, she said.
But before they could get out of the zone, two of the civilian truck drivers in the convoy were shot. Airman First Class Charity Trueblood, a Humvee driver that night, drove up to one of the injured mens trucks, which was engulfed in flames.
When we halt the convoy and we get up there to him, hes been hit, Airman Trueblood said. Hes been hit in the shoulder, and its a clean entry wound, clean exit wound. We provide security, the truck catches on fire. We tried to put it out to no avail. I did (Combat Life Saver) from there on out, and applied pressure to the wound.
That night represents the Airmens worst memories of their deployments, but ironically, one their best memories as well.
I was glad that (the truck driver) was OK, said Airman Trueblood, who is deployed from Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Another good day for me was that I got to see him again. We were reunited and I got to meet him officially this time and see how he was doing. Hes doing fine. Its a good thing.
When you come home and everyones safe, every day is your best day, Airman OHara said.
Staff Sergeant Charnetta McDonald and Senior Airman Candi Laury, both from Patrick AFB, Fla., were also on the convoy that night. Their memories of running convoys on some of the worlds most dangerous highways cant really be fully explained to friends and families back home.
You cant always explain everything to people, Sergeant McDonald said. Its an understanding they have to find on their own. I can sit and explain all day long how important my job is and how important everybodys job is over here, but to fully understand how important it is, theyd actually have to be here.
Airman Laury said shes proud to serve her country in Iraq and hopes her family can relate.
Its what were proud to do, and thats why we wear these uniforms, she said. So hopefully (in the future) my kids can understand what we do and why were over here.
Another aspect of their deployment for these four Airmen is the sisterhood that developed.
We do get at each other at times, because were always with each other and we never get a break, Airman Laury said.
Sergeant McDonald said she wouldnt run with any other crew.
I couldnt have asked to work with a better group of people. Everybody looks out for each other, she said.
Theyre awesome, Airman Trueblood said. We have a very fun, energetic crew. Lots of spirit, lots of character. Definitely lots of character.
Airman Laury said its essential to have that close trust.
The love and caring for each other; you just have to have that. Because if you dont, what do you have?
bttt Charity Trublood. (I love that name!)
Be still within me, My beating heart.
Airman First Class Charity Trueblood, a Humvee driver that night, drove up to one of the injured mens trucks, which was engulfed in flames.
And who says women can't fight?
Why the arabs of course (:
They all did fantastic. More of America's finest!!
Oh man, what a great name. Charity Trueblood. I love it!
Performance, not gender, is what counts and that's PERFORMANCE!!!
Female Airmen are great--and I am a little partial to Airmen (see my tagline)
YOU ARE INVINCIBLE! GO USAF! I'm so proud of these young USAF women....you all ROCK! We are all praying for your safe return, too.
Tuerblood = Trueblood
Thanks for the ping - great photos and articles!
Thanks for this SandRat. God Bless this Airman's LITTLE SISTERS. They did an excellent job.
A woman with a .50 cal... I think I'm in love!
Sounds like a name from an old time novel. The heroin who comes through to save the Mountie.
Paws off--I got dibs First! [heh-heh, just kidding of course]